Xenobiotics and Xenoestrogens are chemicals in our environment and in our food supply that have a hormone-like activity. There is mounting evidence that exposure to these chemicals may be a significant cause of breast cancer, the decline in male sperm production, testicular cancer, prostate cancer and other serious health conditions.
Nearly all xenobiotics are derived from a petroleum source. They are found in literally thousands of products that we use everyday. These products include plastics, microchips, medicines, foods, soaps, lotions, clothing, pesticides, herbicides, cleansers, etc.
Our main source of xenoestrogens in food is from animal fats, particularly red meat and dairy products. Cattle and chicken are given estrogenic substances to make them gain weight. Additionally, they are exposed to xenobiotic chemicals through their food supply that has been grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Anyone who eats meat and dairy products from traditional commercial sources is exposed to these compounds.
The danger in these xenobiotics and xenoestrogens is that they mimic our natural hormones. Because of their close resemblance to natural hormones, the cells accept these hormone-like molecules. However, because these chemicals are not our natural hormones, the cells get either a contaminated message or no message at all. If even one atom is missing from a hormone molecule, the cells’ messages will be incorrect causing cells to malfunction.
So what do we do to minimize the damage from these unavoidable chemicals? Go organic. Use natural products that are safer for both you and the environment. Eat a diet high in fiber so that toxins are eliminated rather than absorbed. Most of all, eat lots of fruits and vegetables – preferably organic.
Be aware that cooking in plastics increases leaching of the harmful chemicals into your food. A recent study showed that microwaving with plastic wrap caused levels 10,000,000 times greater than the FDA acceptable level of the known carcinogen DEHA. This same study also revealed increases in food levels of xenoestrogens.
Take herbs and other supplements that help protect and detoxify the liver such as milk thistle, and n-acetyl cysteine. DIM – a broccoli extract and calcium d-glucarate will help the body break down and eliminate excess estrogens. Avoid low quality supplements that include synthetics and unnecessary incipients and fillers. If you suspect problems associated with excess estrogen such as unexplained weight gain, breast cancer, prostate problems, loss of libido, depression, mood swings, etc., consider using a natural progesterone cream to balance the excess estrogen.
There is considerable research linking these chemicals to health problems in both animals and people. If you want more information, search the internet on xenobiotics or xenoestrogens.
Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas. www.thegreenhouse.myshopify.com